Portugal is doing its part to invest in renewable energy with
the dedication of a new 11-megawatt
(MW) solar plant. The plant, which is located in Serpa, is one of the
largest solar arrays in the world and can supply enough electricity for 8,000
The solar plant was built by Catavento, a Portuguese
renewable energy company and California based PowerLight Corporation, a GE
Energy Financial Services subsidiary. It occupies roughly 150 acres in
Portugal's Alentejo region and contains over 52,000 photovoltaic modules
manufactured by Sanyo, Sharp, SunPower and Suntech. The solar plant is also
said to reduce CO2 emissions by 13,000 tons per year.
"This project is successful because Portugal's sunshine
is plentiful, the solar power technology is proven, government policies are
supportive, and we are investing and delivering under GE's ecomagination
initiative to help our customers meet their environmental challenges,"
said Kevin Walsh of GE Energy Financial Services. "Thanks to great
Portuguese sunshine and high technology, this plant right here in Serpa is
expected to produce the most power -- more than 20 gigawatt-hours per
"The Serpa solar power plant speaks to the green power
initiatives now setting Europe on a course toward ambitious emissions
reductions goals. By assembling a first-class team of companies in the solar
arena, we've achieved a remarkable renewable energy milestone," remarked
PowerLight CEO Tom Dinwoodie.
reported last month by DailyTech, the European Union (EU) is aiming to receive
20% of its power from renewable energy sources by 2020. Currently, the EU
receives 6.5% of its power from renewable energy.
Portugal wants to significantly improve on those figures before
the 2020 deadline. Portugal's Prime Minister, Jose Socrates, has proclaimed
that his country will receive 45% of its power from renewable sources within 3